US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will today visit Israel as part of a 10-day tour of the Middle East.
He will discuss the recently-signed Israel-UAE normalization deal, the Abraham Accords, and the new wave of US sanctions President Trump seeks to impose on Iran. Having lost the presidential election to Joe Biden, both actions are part of the Trump administration’s hurried attempt to embolden its ally Israel and further isolate Iran before leaving the office to Biden, who Trump fears will revert his administration’s moves in the Middle East. Expect both Israel and Gulf states to welcome Pompeo’s efforts to strengthen cooperation and combat Iran.
Meanwhile, when President Elect Biden takes office, expect his administration to push to rejoin the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA). Still, it is unlikely his administration will look to quickly repeal US sanctions on Iran and instead use them as leverage for a rollback in Iranian nuclear advancement. This will make it increasingly difficult for the nuclear deal to be revitalized, especially given that Iran is now more distrustful of entering a deal with the US due to Trump’s policies. Regardless, Biden’s conciliatory approach to Iran may well cause tensions with its allies, Israel and the Gulf.
Wake up smarter with an assessment of the stories that will make headlines in the next 24 hours. Download The Daily Brief.
Bilal is the Director of Training and Development. He holds a master’s degree in law and diplomacy from the Fletcher School at Tufts University where he extensively researched the US war in Afghanistan. Previously, Bilal has worked independently throughout mainland China as a teacher and as a domestic political communications fellow with Murmuration.